This Article is From Oct 25, 2019

High-Salt Diet: Here's How A High-Salt Diet Can Harm You

High-salt diet effects: A new study found that high salt diet may lead to cognitive decline and increase risk of dementia. Read here to know other ways how eating too much salt is bad for your health.

High-Salt Diet: Here's How A High-Salt Diet Can Harm You

Affects of high-salt diet: High-salt diet can increase risk of heart disease


  • You should not eat more than 5 gm salt in a day: Heart Foundation
  • High salt diet can put you at risk of high blood pressure
  • Eat less salt to avoid water retention

High-salt diet: Just the way health experts suggest to cut down on sugar, they also suggest to cut down on your salt intake. There are many downsides to a high-salt diet, including high blood pressure and a negative effect on cognitive function to name a few. According to a study conducted by researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine, a high-salt diet can cause deficiency of the compound nitric oxide, which is important for maintaining vascular health in the brain. Low nitric oxide levels in brain leads to chemical changes to the protein tau in the brain, thus contributing to dementia.

Researchers of the study mention that reducing salt intake can help in maintaining healthy blood vessels in the brain and reduce risk of dementia. Accumulation of tau deposits in humans can lead to development of Alzheimer's in humans.


High-salt diet can put you at risk of dementia
Photo Credit: iStock

High-salt diet: know the health risks involved

Just the way a high-sugar diet can put you at risk of weight gain, obesity and diabetes to name a few, a high-salt diet too puts at risk of numerous diseases, especially high blood pressure.

Salt and high blood pressure

  • The mention of high-salt diet cannot go without mention of high blood pressure.
  • Salt contains sodium, high intake of which can put at risk of high blood pressure and also worsen it in hypertension patients.
  • To keep blood pressure under control, it is important to avoid eating too much salt. According to the Heart Foundation, you should not eat more than 5 gm of salt in a day. This is less than a tsp of salt.
  • High salt intake also puts at risk of heart disease and water retention.

High-salt diet can lead to water retention
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: 6 Signs That You Are Consuming Too Much Salt

How to reduce your salt intake?

Reducing salt intake is much similar to how you have worked on cutting down on your sugar intake. Also you tend to consume more food by eating junk food, processed and packaged food. Processed and packaged food is actually loaded with preservatives, artificial flavours and sodium to increase their shelf life.

As far as your diet includes healthy and nutritious home-cooked food, your salt intake can be managed. You can substitute salt with other flavouring agents like ginger powder, garlic powder, cumin powder, oregano and other herbs.

Also read: Do You Know How Much Salt You Should Consume In A Day? This Much!

Foods that you need to avoid to prevent high salt/sodium intake are:

  1. Anything that comes in a packet like chips, biscuits, bread, cereals, cornflakes instant noodles, etc.
  2. Red meat, processed meat
  3. Ketchups and dressings
  4. Microwave popcorn
  5. Frozen foods
  6. Takeaway foods

Frozen foods are likely to be high in sodium
Photo Credit: iStock

You can cut down on your salt intake by avoiding salty foods for snacks like salted peanuts, almonds, cashews, roasted black chana, makhana etc. Well, you can snack on them, just roast them with rock salt or other low-sodium salt alternatives. It is the best if you can have them without added salt or flavours.

With the onset of festive season, it is all the more important that you regulate your salt intake. Here's wishing everyone a very Happy Dhanteras and a prosperous Diwali!

Also read: Bloating: Here's How Reducing Salt Intake Can Help; 5 Other Tips That Are Actually Effective

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.